Considering Synology Router

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Considering Synology Router

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Operating system
  1. macOS
Mobile operating system
  1. iOS
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Hello everyone,

Been overall gosh darn pleased w/my first experience w/a DS220+ that I a now considering a Synology router. Ideally try-band that would support Apple Home Kit

CURRENT SETUP
• Linksys Velop MX4500's

UNSOLVABLE PROBLEMS (as in year-long countless hours w/L2 support who gave up)
• Frequent disconnects (skips in streaming playback for example)
• Devices kicked off network
• iOS devices that were kicked off have a massive hard time getting reconnected.
• HomeKit devices dropping from network randomly, even w/assigned IPs
• Slow file transfer speeds to DS220+ (even when all devices are w/in 10' of one another)
• Terrible patch-quilt software
• Intention decisions NOT to support backup/restore of settings; global VPN removed.

CONSIDERATIONS
• Apple HomeKit compatible...ideally, not 'required' but would like. Apx. 50 IOT HK devices.
• Top level VPN protection (3rd party rather than Synology self rolled network VPN)
• State-side support - Linksys off short support for anything beyond basic pasword reset a nightmare. L2, appreciate the efforts applied and I feel bad for you all.
• Wifi 6 Mesh
• Looks like apx. $100.00 in the different between dual band to tri-band...is tri-band useful if giving up on having a HomeKit compatible router?
 
I've got the RT6600, the UI is nice and does it job but really I don't think it's worth the money. My previously experience from ASUS routers are very good, however obviously the RT6600 UI is something completely different.
 
I've got the RT6600, the UI is nice and does it job but really I don't think it's worth the money. My previously experience from ASUS routers are very good, however obviously the RT6600 UI is something completely different.
Thank you. What brought me to this discussion was actually a dual-band Synology WRX560 review, but then was thinking tri-band to help future proof.
 
• Top level VPN protection (3rd party rather than Synology self rolled network VPN)
This is not something that will make the list. VPN Plus package offers several VPN solutions but all are still under the Synology wing and no 3rd party implementations are possible (like wireguard for example).
 
UNSOLVABLE PROBLEMS (as in year-long countless hours w/L2 support who gave up)
• Frequent disconnects (skips in streaming playback for example)
• Devices kicked off network
• iOS devices that were kicked off have a massive hard time getting reconnected.
• HomeKit devices dropping from network randomly, even w/assigned IPs
This looks eerily similar to an issue I experienced with iOS devices, and solved. It's probably not related to the router per se. It's likely iOS. iOS has this battery-saving thing where when the user is streaming something or just lingering in one spot awhile, the OS shuts off the radio under the concept that every nanosecond the radio is not in use is another nanosecond of battery life, thus increasing battery life accordingly. It also has this feature of spoofing the device's MAC address to protect privacy, and assigned IPs, are assigned by MAC address.

These features are both well and good, and every little bit helps, except when it doesn't. First off, you don't need your MAC spoofed to your network, after all, it is your network. Secondly, every time — every single time — iOS shuts off that radio it has to be reconnected and often, if not just about always, it will try and reconnect with a new spoofed MAC address.

So the router is just chugging along happily doing its thing continuously and along comes this "visitor" (you) who wants to get something. You get signed in, everything's good, and you start whatever-ing. iOS steps up to help "save your battery" and shuts off the radio. Then it turns the radio on again but presents the router with a new MAC address, which the router quite rightly sees as a new user. And your whatever-ing falls apart.

Go into Settings on your iOS device(s), tweak them accordingly, and if this is the issue, you should see it resolved without the expense of a new router.

All that said, the RT6600ax is a dandy router with tons of features. It's GUI is similar to DSM but a long way, a very long way, from being the "same" or working the "same". It will take time and effort to get it all setup and get used to its working but once you do, it's a real workhorse. I too have had ASUS routers in the past. They're a great value, and a great hobby. If you want a hobby that may/may not fall off support in a year or three and has very uneven OEM support but really great and helpful forums like Small Net Builders, there you go. But if you want a workhorse with better features and security, the (kind of expensive) Synology RT6600ax is (imo) a better way to go with actually good (again, imo) OEM support.
 
Thank you for taking the time for the response.

This looks eerily similar to an issue I experienced with iOS devices, and solved. It's probably not related to the router per se. It's likely iOS. iOS has this battery-saving thing where when the user is streaming something or just lingering in one spot awhile, the OS shuts off the radio under the concept that every nanosecond the radio is not in use is another nanosecond of battery life, thus increasing battery life accordingly. It also has this feature of spoofing the device's MAC address to protect privacy, and assigned IPs, are assigned by MAC address.
Saying iOS spoofs its own MAC ID for privacy by default? Didn't know this. IPs are assigned.

iOS devices getting kicked off happens in middle of streaming (sure, maybe some cache buffering through,) it happens on video conferences w/device plugged in.... and getting iOS devices to reconnect nearly always results in a router reboot. Killer.

Belkin/Linksys have stated being aware of that problem, with firmware updates to fix the problem. One firmware update after another, no fix. Then one update came out and was told (by Linksys L2 support) NOT to update because that version has bricked devices..lovely.

I haven't noticed new MAC IDs showing during troubleshooting. Experimented w/blocking all devices not recognized by default (w/assigned ip based on Mac id) - so this has not yet been explored. How would I see the same device showing w/a new MAC ID?

These features are both well and good, and every little bit helps, except when it doesn't. First off, you don't need your MAC spoofed to your network, after all, it is your network. Secondly, every time — every single time — iOS shuts off that radio it has to be reconnected and often, if not just about always, it will try and reconnect with a new spoofed MAC address.
Right now devices use passthrough VPN. Effective, yes for those who know or care about VPN but others in the household or guests...this isn't on their radar. Want all traffic behind 3rd party VPNs. Also would like the home network equally behind 3rd party VPN.

I have a little utility (Debookee) on my laptop that will notify me when the connection drops or is picked back up.

Go into Settings on your iOS device(s), tweak them accordingly, and if this is the issue, you should see it resolved without the expense of a new router.
Tweak which settings? Power management? Way to disable MAC ID spoofing?
All that said, the RT6600ax is a dandy router with tons of features. It's GUI is similar to DSM but a long way, a very long way, from being the "same" or working the "same". It will take time and effort to get it all setup and get used to its working but once you do, it's a real workhorse. I too have had ASUS routers in the past. They're a great value, and a great hobby. If you want a hobby that may/may not fall off support in a year or three and has very uneven OEM support but really great and helpful forums like Small Net Builders, there you go. But if you want a workhorse with better features and security, the (kind of expensive) Synology RT6600ax is (imo) a better way to go with actually good (again, imo) OEM support.
Preference is to set and forget. Synology has been excellent (and come to think of it I never contacted their support so no experience there.) Prior to this Linksys (in name only) 'upgrade' my previous network was great and didn't need a tweak in years.
 
Go into your iOS device > Settings and poke around. It's not that hard and becoming familiar with it will obviously benefit you.

I've never heard of anyone using a VPN in their own facility (home) to access their own network in the same physical facility. Seems like a lot of extra complication to me. FWIW, the RT6600ax has a very robust arrangement of physical and virtual networks and VPN software, but is is software-based, not hardware-based. It's easy to slip into overkill with security on a home network level where the attack surface is very small and the reward of exploiting is even smaller, but to each their own.

MAC stuff is in Wi-Fi.

Forgot to mention, iOS also likes to switch radios at random flip-flopping between Wi-Fi and data over Cellular, which contributes further to the problem. Can't see where any firmware on the router side is going to address these behaviors.
 
Go into your iOS device > Settings and poke around. It's not that hard and becoming familiar with it will obviously benefit you.

I've never heard of anyone using a VPN in their own facility (home) to access their own network in the same physical facility. Seems like a lot of extra complication to me. FWIW, the RT6600ax has a very robust arrangement of physical and virtual networks and VPN software, but is is software-based, not hardware-based. It's easy to slip into overkill with security on a home network level where the attack surface is very small and the reward of exploiting is even smaller, but to each their own.

MAC stuff is in Wi-Fi.

Forgot to mention, iOS also likes to switch radios at random flip-flopping between Wi-Fi and data over Cellular, which contributes further to the problem. Can't see where any firmware on the router side is going to address these behaviors.
Which settings in iOS?

Few of the devices are wifi only iPads. Worth noting status of VPN connection makes no difference in the disconnects.
 
As explained iPads are wifi only, no cellular. Your posts referenced iOS spoofing MAC ID and I have never come across settings that addresses MAC ID options.
 
As explained iPads are wifi only, no cellular. Your posts referenced iOS spoofing MAC ID and I have never come across settings that addresses MAC ID options.
So are you saying all of your iOS devices are iPads? That would have been know to know as iPhones and iPads are all iOS devices with iPhones and mixed environments being much more common than iPads alone. That sends things back a bit.

On whatever iPad is experiencing the issue the most (or any iPad if they all experience the issue roughly the same) go into Settings > Wi-Fi. Click the
Circled i.png
icon and
  1. Ensure you're working on your network proper for this, not complicating it through a VPN;
  2. Ensure Low Data Mode is off;
    1. Also in Settings > Battery ensure Low Power Mode is off;
  3. Private Wi-Fi Address is off;
  4. Limit IP Address Tracking is off (this one only for testing) probably OK to turn back on later); and
  5. manually set the IP on the iPad to the assigned IP at the router.
If you did not assign an IP at the router, then you don't have an assigned IP so ensure that is done also. Essentially what you want to do is to ensure the device (iPad) retains an uninterrupted connection to the Wi-Fi with no battery-induced nor security-induced changes.

Now test.
 
Most are iPads (there are also iPhones but we are not streaming on them and notice momentary glitches. iPhones are also not kicked off the network as frequently as the iPads. I will follow those instructions during the next trouble shooting pass and see if that helps.
 
I purchased the RT6600ax and WRX560 for my (large) home and ran Amazon Alexa. It has an excellent interface, but I had issues with the devices not being able to connect wirelessly. I ended up sending them back. It has been 1.5 years, and I am thinking of trying again. I had no issues with my Synology NAS (1821+ and 1513+), only with Alexa devices.
 
I have had a RT6600AX +2 MR2200ACs, in my previous home, I had a full Unifi setup, (UG Pro, 10Gbe backbone, 1Gb secondary one, 4x Wifi Access Points and six switchs)

We live in a 3 storey home, and the 6600 is on ground floor, while there's a single MR2200 on each of the middle floors.

I use a wired backhaul between the 6600/2200ACs.

Wife and daughters have iPad Pros, iPhones, and daughters also have Macbook Pros, I have a Fold 4, iPad Pro, Macbook Air.

We have Hue lights and bridge throughout home.

We do not have any issues with devices disconnecting or failing to roam between APs correctly. We eun 3x Wifi Networks, 1 for us, 2 for guests , 3 for IOT stuff. (Smart Meter IHD, Octopus mini etc.
So I think a synology wil lwork for you, however also look at a Unifi setup, the extra granual control is the one thing I miss (Cell size tuning, RSSI, Band Steering control, being able to assign different APs to different networks. Link Aggregation between APs. Its also a more polished system with far more software/firmware updates.
 

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